Telework Exchange recently polled people in the Defense Information Systems Agency IT internship program on their priorities, challenges, communication, and workplace culture. The group announced the poll results this week.
Telework Exchange found that the interns place a high priority on information security and balancing security against usability. They also place a high priority on knowledge management.
They identified several key challenges, including technology becoming obsolete by the time it's implemented, cost cutting as a mode of operation in the federal government, and difficulty gaining experience because of outsourcing.
The interns' preferred methods of communication include e-mail and text messaging, the study found. Their preferred tool for accessing information is Google, with Gen Y workers rarely seeking information in print publications.
The study defines Generation Y as the 70 million people born between 1977 and 2002. Many of them are entering the workforce now.
The study found that the group works to live, rather than living to work. It also characterized the group as largely mobile, expecting frequent job changes, enjoying new assignments, and desiring flexibility.
Vacation, retirement, educational stipends and compressed workweeks or telecommuting options are key perks, according to the study. Participants told pollsters that telecommuting is and should be a priority. They indicated strong support from top leaders and mixed support from middle managers.
The average age of those polled is 26. All have bachelor's degrees, while half have their master's degrees.